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The Middle-Class Thief

The Middle-Class Thief

As the recession drags on there are new reports coming out about an increase in the shoplifting rate worldwide.  With more and more people out of jobs or taking pay cuts it seems some are finding it that much easier to justify a five-finger discount.  Though it may not seem like it to the thief, the ramifications of a rise in stolen goods will only hurt the consumer in the long run.

A recent article from Time magazine reports about a recent survey released from the Center for Retail Research that reveals shoplifting incidents are up by 6 percent this year which represents a whopping $115 billion in business losses.  The article also reports that the "new shoplifter" is surprisingly a member of the middle class and will most often steal things like expensive cheeses, mobile phones, and cosmetics. 

Joshua Bamfield, director of the Britain-based Center for Retail Research reports to Time why the middle-class are finding it easier to shoplift.  Bamfield says, "In addition to the usual criminals, you have lots of newcomers to stealing who figure they don’t run much risk at getting caught, won’t pay much of a price if they are and justify their actions on the hard times we’re all facing."

A recent survey also reveals that a good number of these new shoplifters do not steal out of necessity to feed their loved ones and they see nothing wrong with what they are doing as long as they take from larger corporations or fancy stores.  These people may not realize that in the long run we will all end up paying more for their actions.  As companies absorb the cost for the losses they take due to the increasing number of shoplifting they mark up the price of their products which ultimately will affect the consumer.

What do you think about the reports of the increase in shoplifting this year?

What do you think should be done to bring those numbers down?

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  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    11.17.09  

    I can't imagine stealing anything! It makes me angry because we all pay for it by having to pay higher prices at the stores! To answer the questions above, I'm not surprised that there has been an increase in shoplifting activity due to the economy. Maybe more shoplifters would be caught if stores hire plain clothed security officers to look like ordinary shoppers to patrol the stores.

  • loli1707 By loli1707
    11.17.09  

    This is crazy .. never would i think it was ok to steal ,BUT for some people Character doesnt seem to made any more ... 1. I thinks its just sad .. 2. I agree with ms friendly they should be alittle more undercover ..

  • momagarry By momagarry
    11.17.09  

    This is absolutely crazy!

  • beautifulbutterfly By beautifulbutterfly
    11.18.09  

    Wow that's just not good that people are getting away for shoplifting and that we might pay the consequences for them. I thinks that msfriendly it right about the uncover security.

  • cybrown551 By cybrown551
    11.18.09  

    It is really unfortunate that people are out of work and the job market is bad. I think that it is not a good idea to exploit these people who are hit buy this crisis with articles and media attention. These people are having a hard enough time trying to manage with little or no help from the Government. What should we do about this situation is create long high paying jobs in high tech and construction. If it takes another stimulus package to get people back to work and financially stable than that is what we need to focus on. Things are not going to get any better when people are out of work. How do I feel about the shop lifting, I don?t think that they should.

  • AimeeAken By AimeeAken
    11.19.09  

    HAHA ! That is totally worth going to jail for.. I stole some CHEESE! How sad is that? I can not imagine stealing anything at all EVER, but that just made me laugh. :P

  • Alyssarae92293 By Alyssarae92293
    11.19.09  

    i completely agree with cybrown551

  • agaphmou By agaphmou
    11.20.09  

    When is the government going to realize that multi-billion dollar stimulous packages to these banks won't put food on our tables?They have put the country in debt for generations to come,needlessly

  • la_cuata184 By la_cuata184
    11.21.09  

    This is crazy. I don't want to have to pay the price for someone elses wrongdoings. What are these people thinking? If you can't afford fancy cheese or a cell phone, well too bad. Lots of people don't have cell phones or eat fancy cheese. I have to live within my budget and people that are stealing need to learn to do the same thing.

  • mimiandmonet By mimiandmonet
    11.21.09  

    Well first of all shoplifting is a crime, regardless of the reasons. On another note, more stimulus money will not help one bit and I am disgusted with America's choices. We need to be voting on laws and whether WE WANT them. We also need to be voting on the salaries, raises and benefits of our elected officials. They need to always know that they WORK FOR US!

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